All posts by Eric R. Olson

Eric is a writer and producer specializing in science and natural history. He is the former digital producer for NATURE on PBS. Originally from Seattle, Eric now resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La

Featured Creature: Black Snub-nosed Monkey

The black snub-nosed monkey (also known as the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey) is a medium-sized primate species named for its black fur and a distinctive upturned nose, which results from a lack of nasal bones. Adult females weigh in at roughly 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and adult males at 30 pounds (14 kilograms). The monkey lives […]

Shape-Shifting Frog Can Change Texture of Its Skin

Researchers have found a small frog species that can rapidly change its skin texture from spiny to smooth and back again. It is believed to be the first known amphibian species to have this skin-morphing ability. The frog was discovered by PhD student Katherine Krynak and her husband while on an annual trip to Reserva […]

Natural Born Hustlers

Featured Creature: Leaf-Tailed Gecko

The leaf-tailed gecko (Uroplatus fimbriatus) is a large tree-dwelling reptile found in Eastern Madagascar. It gets the name uroplatus – which means “flat tail” – from its broad leaf-shaped tail that can be snapped off and regrown if attacked by a predator.

Featured Creature: Kakapo

The kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) is a large flightless parrot native to New Zealand. It adapted to life on the ground because New Zealand has few natural terrestrial predators. They are accomplished climbers, using their wings for balance, and their beak and strong claws to pull and grip their way up and down trees.

Your Guide to Glowing Organisms

Both beautiful to behold and somewhat mysterious, bioluminescence has arisen a number of times in the history of the life on earth. The exact ingredients can differ slightly, but all bioluminescent creatures glow due to a standard chemical reaction: a molecule called a luciferin is oxidized by an enzyme luciferase, generating a cool light. Animals […]

Featured Creature: Thorny Devil

The thorny devil (Moloch horridus) looks like something straight out of an old Japanese monster film. Thankfully, the lizard only averages eight inches (20 centimeters) long and spends most of its time terrorizing ants, not denizens of Tokyo.

Featured Creature: Maned Wolf

The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is the largest canid species in South America. It lives in the grasslands and scrub forests of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Peru.